SHANGHAI Feb 14 China's state media has slammed
Aston Martin over a recall of its luxury cars involving parts
produced in the country, saying the British firm is using the
stereotype of low-quality 'Made in China' manufacturing to mask
its own shortcomings.
Aston Martin, controlled by Kuwaiti and private equity
investors, said on Feb. 5 it would recall most of the sports
cars it has produced since late 2007 after discovering a Chinese
sub-supplier was using counterfeit material in its accelerator
The official Xinhua news agency on Friday joined other local
media in criticising the maker of exotic sports cars featured in
James Bond spy movies, saying it failed to recognise
mismanagement of its own supply chain.
"Aston Martin's latest recall again passed the buck for poor
quality of products, but this time 'Made in China' is just the
scapegoat of the glorious carmaker," Xinhua said in a report
headlined, "Aston Martin plays 'Made in China' blame game".
"Higher levels of technology and quality are the ultimate
solution for the unjust stereotype of 'Made in China' as cheap
and copycat," Xinhua said.
Officials at Aston Martin in Britain could not be reached
The recall, involving 17,590 cars, highlights the challenges
global carmakers face in securing parts thousands of miles away
According to documents filed with a U.S. regulator, Aston
Martin found that Shenzhen Kexiang Mould Tool Co Ltd, a southern
China-based subcontractor that moulds the affected accelerator
pedal arms, was using counterfeit DuPont plastic
The documents said Kexiang was a third-tier supplier
contracted to mould accelerator pedal arms by a Hong Kong
company, Fast Forward Tooling, which in turn was contracted by a
manufacturer based in Britain.
In a report published earlier in the week, the official
People's Daily quoted a Kexiang manager, Zhang Zhiang, as saying
his company was established only in August 2010 and its outdated
equipment and limited workspace did not allow it to take large
orders from carmakers like Aston Martin.
People's Daily said it was unable to reach officials at Fast
Forward's registered addresses, and a Chinese supplier that
Aston Martin said provided the plastic material to Kexiang did
not have a business registry.
"The company's (Aston Martin's) management has unavoidable
responsibility for the problem," the newspaper said.
When contacted by Reuters earlier this month, another
Kexiang manager Zhang Ronghui said he was aware of the recall of
Aston Martin parts, but denied any direct involvement with the
A visit by a Reuters reporter to the Hong Kong address for
Fast Forward cited in Aston Martin's document found it to be
that of a small legal and secretarial firm where the company had
registered its business but had no actual presence.
(Reporting by Kazunori Takada; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)